Ducks ain’t birds.

The views expressed by guest essayists do not reflect the opinions of Two-Fisted Birdwatcher or anybody else for that matter. Especially when the guest essayist is the recurring Bob Grump. But we still publish his stuff, whether we agree with him or not. And besides—the guy’s just playing with us. Or is he?

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Ducks ain’t birds.

By Bob Grump

They’re ducks. Geese ain’t birds, either. And neither are seagulls. Chickens sure as hell ain’t birds. Don’t care about ‘em at all. Loons ain’t birds. Now you might be thinking I’m one of them. A loon.

A duck butt not a bird in my book!

I wouldn’t blame you, because all that stuff I just said is loony. But it makes sense to me.

Coots ain’t birds, either. And you might think I’m one of them, although you’d have no way of knowing if I’m a coot or a loon.

Looniness and being a coot go together, most of the time. But not always.

But, where was I?  Oh yeah, if ducks and the like ain’t birds, then what ARE the real birds? Hold on. I’ll get to that.

I’m a guy who spends half his life in wild parts of the upper Midwest. I walk through weeds, into woods, along lakeshores and up and down rivers.

I get mosquito bites, ticks dig me, I get scratched by thorns and I get covered with those sticky burrs that come off plants I wade through. I’ve seen bears, but mostly their ass ends because bears like to run off when I’m comin’.

I watch a lot of birds when I’m out in the sticks. And they ain’t ducks!

They’re bird-shaped honest to Pete birds that look like birds. Robins, swallows, thrushes, woodpeckers, hawks, meadowlarks, bobolinks, kingbirds, orioles, tanagers, bluebirds, finches, sparrows, you know what I’m talking about: real birds.

When I’m out in the wild and I see a real bird there, say a Brown Thrasher, I figure, awright! That’s what I’m talkin’ about!

"A Dick what...?"

I have started thinking of myself as a two-fisted birdwatcher, thanks to your Johnny-come-lately web magazine of this name.

You are two-fisted in some ways I guess. (I like the picture of  booze on your Facebook page).  But in other ways you’re smartass, talkin’ about books and all.

Still, when I hold binoculars in my scratched-up scabby old two fists, and I see some real birds, I do get a two-fisted kick. Wanted you to know that, pal.

It’s not because the birds I see are unusual, either. Although sometimes they are. Hell, I saw a Dickcissel. A bird with a stupid name that I commented about in an earlier guest essay.

No, I get a kick because real birds are little bits of red, white and blue freedom.

Now, okay, you duck lovers, you seagull lovers, you coot, loon and goose lovers—you’re probably sayin’….what the hell!

How about these birds you like so much? They’re free, and sorta colorful, too. I refuse to argue about this. All I’m sayin’ is that they don’t do it for me.

For me a bird is a bird that looks like a bird. I wouldn’t walk across the street to look at a duck. I’d walk across a mountain to look at a Clark’s Nutcracker, though.

That’s how it is, as far as I’m concerned, and I don’t care if anybody likes it or not. I’m going birdwatching now, not duckwatching, so enough talk.

7 Responses to “Ducks ain’t birds.”

  1. Jan says:

    Good read…leaving judgment aside as to whether you’re a coot or a loon!

  2. Suzie K. says:

    Mr. Grump I’m not going to let you get my dander up. I think you’re a big b-s-er anyway and just like to make us what your name is, grumpy, after reading your ideas which are way off the wall and are as you said “looooony”. But you make me laugh. Thanks for the silly times.

  3. Joe K. says:

    I agree!

  4. Carol says:

    I teach seventh grade here in Tennessee and we do a section about birds every year. My seventh graders, when asked what they think of when I say “bird” almost always describe what you are calling regular birds. They rarely or never say chicken or duck, goose, and whatever. They usually say Robin or Woodpecker, echoing your sentiments about what people think “birds” are. As much as I hate to say it, you have a point, although I think your jocular style is mostly a put-on. The word “ain’t” is like fingernails on my blackboard of course, but coming from you, in the style of writing you chose to use, it honestly works, and I might use it in class as an example of humor, making the word ridiculous for fun, and therefore also making a point about it. A solid B-plus for this effort, Mr. Nom-de-plume, whomever you are.

  5. Robert G. says:

    There are many serious well meaning essay writers in this column and I have enjoyed them. But every once in a while, far too often, the essay column has an essay by a person using the obvious made-up name Bob Grump. I would be mad about this flagrant reducing of the quality of the intended guest essay section, except the Bob Grump essays are funny and even though they’re absurd they are interesting and dare I say thought provoking. I suggest this: A Bob Grump column. A collection of Bob Grumps writings. It could be called “Like it or Grump it.”

  6. Ken Wood says:

    Hey Mr. Grunp! Please…Please! Stay far away From Clark’s Nutcrackers!

  7. R. Grump says:

    Re: Ken Wood comment. Well, it always floats my boat when I see that the ramblings I humbly submit to the 2-fisted guy who prints them without comment—(or no, wait, he does comment–even casts doubt as to my name—but I don’t blame him for that…great thinkers of literature have sometimes used pen names—like Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and George Eliot (a chick!!!) etc etc,) yeah it always floats my boat when I see my stuff elicit a comment or two…I am happy that anybody takes time to read what I said then comments…and of all those on my last bit about ducks not being birds, the one by Ken Wood really floated my boat—he told me to stay away from Clark’s Nutcrackers—I do like a joke, even when its aimed my way, and that was a good one…keep ‘em coming Mr. Ken Wood, you’re a clever dude and I approve of your wry humor. With admiration, Bob.

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